There is no question that one of the most important issues on the mind of every resident is how much of their hard-earned money they have to turn over to the government in taxes. People want to know that their tax dollars are spent carefully, so that the City can provide the highest level of service to them at the lowest cost possible. The Labrosse/Canestrino Team knew it four years ago when they asked Hackensack voters to make a “change.” They made a solemn vow “to budget honestly” and to “spend less of your money.” Let’s examine their record on fiscal responsibility.
THE LABROSSE/CANESTRINO TEAM VOW “TO BUDGET HONESTLY”
Putting aside the fact that Labrosse and Canestrino have been caught in countless documented lies during these past four years, let’s apply the word “honestly” solely to their budgets. Most people believe that the “honest” way to prepare a taxpayer-funded municipal budget is to determine what expenses are necessary for the safety, well-being and quality of life of the residents of that community, and then to raise the taxes necessary to pay those expenses out of that year’s budget.
If elected officials are “honest,” they will look to economize wherever possible while maintaining the appropriate level of services, and let the taxpayers know what that year’s cost is. If elected officials are “dishonest,” they will proclaim that they stabilized taxes while, in reality, they have simply pushed off the cost to future City Councils at a far greater final cost to our taxpayers. It’s called “Borrowing.”
The “honest” approach that the Labrosse Political Machine claimed to bring to Hackensack budgeting was to plunge us 50 million dollars deeper in debt than when they took over. They have nearly tripled the debt that existed as recently as December of 2013, when the City owed only 28 million dollars. That number had been basically static for over ten years before them. It would be nearly impossible to think of anything more fiscally irresponsible they could do than turning 28 million dollars of debt into 78 million dollars of debt in a brief three year period, particularly with interest rates seemingly ready to rise.
THE LABROSSE/CANESTRINO TEAM VOW “TO SPEND LESS OF YOUR MONEY”
After analyzing how the Labrosse/Canestrino Team spends money, it’s easy to understand why they needed to borrow an extra 50 million dollars which you and your children will be paying off for years with interest. The lawsuits provoked by them have cost millions. They borrowed 7 million dollars to fund Councilman Leo Battaglia’s pet project of putting a roof over a soccer field, known as the “Leo Dome,” despite the residents who use the field opposing that project. They borrowed 8 million dollars to put an addition on a recreation center to house Councilman David Sims’ personal basketball league, despite the fierce opposition of area residents. The list is endless.
When Deputy Mayor Canestrino coined her own nickname of “Money Girl,” we all assumed it was because she planned to guard our tax dollars like never before. No one knew at that time that what she actually meant was that she could borrow and spend money like never before. We know now.
HACKENSACK’S FISCAL FUTURE
The Labrosse/Canestrino Team’s own Chief Financial Officer has publicly described the City’s credit rating as “certainly not great.” It’s difficult - and frightening - to imagine the debt number that they can reach, and the damage they can do, if the Labrosse Political Machine is given four more years of access to our tax dollars.